Category Archives: Dystopian Fiction

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Reviewed by Teri Davis

VoxThe status of women in the United States has changed tremendously in the last one-hundred years with numerous examples of their proper relationship with men varying as much as each individual female.
The current President of the United States and his trusted Christian advisor changing women’s rights. All women are to be cared for my the head male of their family. For those married, that means their husbands. For unmarried women, the means their closest male relative.

In order to preserve the households of doting women, each female wears a bracelet limiting her speech to one-hundred words a day. Any word beyond that will cause the bracelet to shock the wearer with increasing strength as each word is said. Could you live with only speaking one-hundred words a day?
Young girls are taught in their own school. Naturally, they don’t need the level of education of their male counterparts. Girls learn additional home economics needed in their duties of being future wives and mothers.

Jean is a wife and mother of four children, three teenaged sons and one younger daughter. Every day the wife is expected to cook and clean. Women are not allowed to read books or to use a computer. Those are only for men.

Ward (The Ward Triumvirate Book 1) by Kyle Waller

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

WardFar from just another dystopia, Kyle Waller’s Ward creates an immersive universe of inviting darkness. The action packed pages will easily grip your attention.

To begin with, this story has no heroes, in the classical sense, only villains. After the main character is faced with the following proposal: Up the river? Or down in the dirt? He ends up in the prison-city of what once was Sacramento California. The Ward is a place of no redemption, only survival. On one hand, the condemned must face nature, as ash keeps snowing over the land. But on the other hand, far more dangerous are the people who inhabit these parts. As the inhabitants are divided into several groups competing for some very limited resources, the power-plays that emerge are the main threat. Well, Kyle Waller throws his main character in the midst of this ongoing war, thus allowing the reader to jump straight into the action.

However, beyond all the action and thrill of Ward, there is a more serious issue underlining the entire narrative, mental illness. While at certain points its presence becomes blatantly obvious, at other times, it is much more subtle. It is this subtleness that I found more impressive. In these cases, it resembles an invisible presence, something that you can’t see, but can only feel. And this sensation of uneasiness is masterfully woven into the pages of the novel. Setting aside the story line, the book can serve as an incentive to prompt more dialogue on this often ostracized subject, which in reality as well, lurks mostly in the shadows.

Culmination by Holly Smith

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

CulminationThe apocalypse is a rather popular subject when it comes to books and movies. The important thing is to offer a perspective with a tint of freshness to it. Culmination uses this theme as a backdrop to highlight human condition and how people could react in the most difficult of situations.

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While a young couple is enjoying the first moments together as newlyweds, their honeymoon drastically changes due to a total electrical blackout, which they will soon learn was a global phenomenon. But at least they are not alone, as they find more people with whom they soon become close friends. As it turns out, two of their new acquaintances are survivalists who have long prepared for the dawn of civilization. So, the group moves into a high-end cave, equipped with anything they need to survive in luxury. However, even if things should have ran smoothly, since everything was anticipated, it seems that one element was gravely overlooked, human nature, and the cost of this oversight is to be discovered in the pages of the book. Actually, Holly Smith offers a good example of a self fulfilling prophecy, if you believe that something will happen strong enough, you will mold your perception of reality in such a way as to see it realized.

Station Eleven: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Station Eleven“I’m talking about these people who’ve ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed. Do you know what I mean? They’ve done what’s expected of them. They want to do something different but it’s impossible now, there’s a mortgage, kids, whatever, they’re trapped…You probably encounter people like him all the time. High-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially.”

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eHuman Dawn by Nicole Sallak Anderson

eHuman Dawn

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

eHuman Dawn is a book about humanity. It presents us with a likely scenario of evolution and it poses many dilemmas regarding our present and future. Rapped in the mist of utopia, this futuristic world soon reveals itself to be a dystopia. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World, eHuman Dawn presents another form of totalitarian government.

There are many levels to the book itself. First, there is the intimate plane of interpersonal relationships, where we close-in on individuals and their personal experiences. Second is the social and political plane, which presents the totalitarian form of government, the Resistance and their battle for humanity. Lastly, the plane of an entire species.

After the Parch by Sheldon Greene

After the Parch

Reviewed by Diane Pollock

After the parch, the thirst. The hunger and thirst for righteousness fills this dystopian tale.

Bran leaves the small farming community that has hidden itself away from the world following a massive disaster that leaves California an independent nation. He must register a claim to his people’s land, or risk losing it to the huge corporation that controls most of the land and available resources. Bran has had an ideal and happy life in his isolated community, but is now forced to face the larger world and it’s problems.

John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars by Roland Hughes

John Smith:  Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars Reviewed by Teri Davis

Do you ever reflect about how your life could have been different if you had made different choices twenty, thirty, forty years ago? Imagine yourself sixty-eight years now in the future. What choices should you have made now on November 13, 2013? How could these affect your life and every living creature on the planet?

On November 13, 2013, the world ceased to exist as we know it. Now, sixty-eight years later, John Smith attempts to explain life before this time. He wonders if finally people are ready to understand the history that created the world of today.

Now, people live at a basic survival level without the use of our established means of transportation, communication, health care, and food service. How do you prevent the catastrophe of the past from ever happening again. In the hopes that this history will never occur again, John Smith has left his isolated world to communicate the mistakes of the past to a world that has no memory. He is the only known survivor from this event sixty-eight years ago.

John Smith was only eleven years old at this time making his age of seventy-nine the oldest known person alive today on the planet. On that fated day, John’s family had built a bunker when the Microsoft Wars started where he was trapped for ten years.

The Lens and the Looker (The Verona Trilogy, Book 1) by Lory Kaufman

The Lens and the LookerReviewed by Stephanie Nordkap

This edition contained excerpts from Book 2, The Bronze and the Brimstone, to be released June 7, 2011.

In the 24th century, humans, with the help of artificial intelligences, have created the perfect post-dystopian society; illnesses and serious injuries are virtually unheard of, environmental problems are a thing of the past, and technology is incredibly advanced. In order to continue developing perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full-sized recreations of cities from Earth’s pasts, where teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. It’s a sure-fire way to teach young people how to avoid making the mistakes that almost caused the destruction of earth all those years ago.

Hansum, Shamira, and Lincoln pride themselves on being difficult, manipulative, and trouble-makers. When they cause trouble at one of the History Camps, they are ambushed by a stranger and whisked back to the fourteenth century, to 1347 Verona. This is a time very different from their own and they are forced to either adapt to the harsh medieval way of life or die. In an attempt to survive and to ease their comfort, they introduce forbidden technology into medieval life and suddenly find themselves thrust into a political game they know nothing about. They now face many dangers, many enemies, and safety is over a thousand years away.

I thought the concept of this trilogy was very intriguing and the idea of someone from a post-dystopian future going into the past in order to learn was an interesting idea. Three incredibly spoiled teens are sent to the most dire and strict of History Camps as a last resort and test their elders to the limit; however, before restitution could be made by the teenagers, all three are kidnapped and sent back to the real 1347 Verona and apprenticed to a lens maker.